Scientists & Staff
- Forest Service Research & Development Bridging the Gender GapDecember 11, 2015
- Plant community and tree regeneration under variable retention harvests in red pine
- Long-term effects of prescribed fire on soils, fuels, vegetaton, and productivity of red pine forests
- Global study of forest influence on plant and beetle communities in harvest areas
- Using fire, harvest, and mechical treatments to restore barrens, savannahs, woodlands, and forests of northern dry pine forests
- Cutting methods in old and second-growth northern hardwoods
- Role of group or harvest gap size on tree regeneration and plant communities
- Role of microtopography in northern hardwood tree growth, regeneration, and diversity
- Seedbank potential for restoration and adaptation of forest ecosystems
- Short and long term influence of conventional and ecological forestry approaches on forest structure and composition
- Functional diversity of understory plant communities response to silvicultural treatments
- Adaptive silviculture for changing conditions
Why This Research is Important
Long term perspectives on a variety of approaches to forest management are exceptionally important as environmental conditions and societal values continue to change. My work focuses on ecological underpinnings of plant community dynamics in managed forests both at present and retrospectively over past decades. Analysis of past work provides a rare insight into long term trends and responses that cannot be detected in a short term study or even during one's career! In light of this, I have the fortunate opportunity to study decades of silvicultural research from earlier scientists to evaluate impacts on complex issues such as forest sustainability and ecosystem integrity. These research results will provide information and tools to adapt silvicultural systems to the changing needs of the future.
- Arbeitsgemeinschaft Naturgemäße Waldwirtschaft (2014 - Current)
- Ecological Society of America (2014 - Current)
- Prosilva (2014 - Current)
- Certified Silviculturist (2006 - Current)
- Society of American Foresters (SAF) (2001 - Current)
- Forest Guild
Awards & Recognition
- 2018 Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King, and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture , 2019 By authority of the Institute of Chartered Foresters for the publication of "Challenges facing gap-based silviculture and possible solutions for mesic northern forests in North America" Forestry 90(1):4-17
Featured Publications & Products
- Kern, Christel C.; Burton, Julia I.; Raymond, Patricia; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Keeton, William S.; Royo, Alex; Walters, Michael B.; Webster, Christopher R.; Willis, John L. 2017. Challenges facing gap-based silviculture and possible solutions for mesic northern forests in North America. Forestry 90: 4-17.
- Kern, Christel; Erdmann, Gus; Kenefic, Laura; Palik, Brian; Strong, Terry. 2014. Development of the selection system in northern hardwood forests of the Lake States: an 80-year silviculture research legacy. In: Hayes, D.C.; Stout, S.L.; Crawford, R.H.; Hoover, A.P., eds. USDA Forest Service experimental forests and ranges research for the long term. New York, NY: Springer: 201-223.
- Kern, Christel C.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Strong, Terry F. 2013. Diversifying the composition and structure of managed late-successional forests with harvest gaps: What is the optimal gap size?. Forest Ecology and Management. 304: 110-120.
- Kern, Cristel C.; Reich, Peter B.; Montgomery, Rebecca A.; Strong, Terry F. 2012. Do deer and shrubs override canopy gap size effects on growth and survival of yellow birch, northern red oak, eastern white pine, and eastern hemlock seedlings?. Forest Ecology and Management. 267: 134-143.
- Kern, Christel C.; Montgomery, Rebecca A.; Reich, Peter B.; Strong, Terry F. 2014. Harvest-created canopy gaps increase species and functional trait diversity of the forest ground-layer community. Forest Science. 60(2): 335-344.
- Kern, Christel C.; Montgomery, Rebecca A.; Reich, Peter B.; Strong, Terry F. 2013. Canopy gap size influences niche partitioning of the ground-layer plant community in a northern temperate forest. Journal of plant Ecology. 6(1): 101-112.
Publications & Products
- Kern, Christel C.; Schwarzmann, John ; Kabrick, John ; Gerndt, Kathryn ; Boyden, Suzanne ; Stanovick, John S. 2019. Mounds facilitate regeneration of light-seeded and browse-sensitive tree species after moderate-severity wind disturbance. Forest Ecology and Management
- Knapp, Samuel P.; Webster, Christopher R.; Kern, Christel C. 2019. Can group selection with legacy retention change compositional trajectories in conventionally managed hardwoods?. Forest Ecology and Management
- Quigley, K.M. ; Wildt, R.E. ; Sturtevant, B.R. ; Kolka, R.K. ; Dickinson, M.B. ; Kern, C.C. ; Donner, D.M. ; Miesel, J.R. 2019. Fuels, vegetation, and prescribed fire dynamics influence ash production and characteristics in a diverse landscape under active pine barrens restoration. Fire Ecology
- Reuling, Laura F.; Kern, Christel C.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Bronson, Dustin R. 2019. The Northern White-Cedar Recruitment Bottleneck: Understanding the Effects of Substrate, Competition, and Deer Browsing. Forests
- Fahey, Robert T.; Alveshere, Brandon C.; Burton, Julia I; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Dickinson, Yvette L.; Keeton, William S.; Kern, Christel C.; Larson, Andrew J.; Palik, Brian J.; Puettmann, Klaus J.; Saunders, Michael R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atkins, Jeff W.; Gough, Christopher M.; Hardiman, Brady S. 2018. Shifting conceptions of complexity in forest management and silviculture. Forest Ecology and Management
- Hupperts, Stefan ; Dickinson, Yvette ; Webster, Christopher ; Kern, Christel C. 2018. Promoting structural and species diversity in Great Lakes northern hardwoods: a conceptual model and its application. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research
- James, Joshua A.; Kern, Christel C.; Miesel, Jessica R. 2018. Legacy effects of prescribed fire season and frequency on soil properties in a Pinus resinosa forest in northern Minnesota. Forest Ecology and Management
- Kubiske, Mark ; Woodall, Christopher ; Kern, Christel C. 2018. Increasing Atmospheric CO2 Concentration Stand Development in Trembling Aspen Forests: Are Outdated Density Management Guidelines in Need of Revision for All Species?. Journal of Forestry
- McWilliams, William H.; Westfall, James A.; Brose, Patrick H.; Dey, Daniel C.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Dickinson, Yvette L.; Fajvan, Mary Ann; Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C.; Laustsen, Kenneth M.; Lehman, Shawn L.; Morin, Randall S.; Ristau, Todd E.; Royo, Alejandro A.; Stoltman, Andrew M.; Stout, Susan L. 2018. Subcontinental-scale patterns of large-ungulate herbivory and synoptic review of restoration management implications for midwestern and northeastern forests. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-182. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 24 p.
- Scherer, Sawyer S.; Kern, Christel C.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J.; Russell, Matthew R. 2018. Long-term pine regeneration, shrub layer dynamics, and understory community composition responses to repeated prescribed fire in Pinus resinosa forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research
- Webster, Christopher R.; Dickinson, Yvette L.; Burton, Julia I; Frelich, Lee E.; Jenkins, Michael A.; Kern, Christel C.; Raymond, Patricia ; Saunders, Michael R.; Walters, Michael B.; Willis, John L. 2018. Promoting and maintaining diversity in contemporary hardwood forests: Confronting contemporary drivers of change and the loss of ecological memory. Forest Ecology and Management
- Bottero, Alessandra ; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J.; Kern, Christel C.; Bradford, John B.; Scherer, Sawyer S. 2017. Influence of Repeated Prescribed Fire on Tree Growth and Mortality in Pinus resinosa Forests, Northern Minnesota. Forest Science
- Curzon, Miranda ; Baker, Susan ; Kern, Christel ; Palik, Brian ; D'Amato, Anthony. 2017. Influence of Mature Overstory Trees on Adjacent 12-Year Regeneration and the Woody Understory: Aggregated Retention versus Intact Forest. Forests
- Gleason, Kelly E.; Bradford, John B.; Bottero, Alessandra; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Fraver, Shawn; Palik, Brian J.; Battaglia, Michael A.; Iverson, Louis; Kenefic, Laura; Kern, Christel C. 2017. Competition amplifies drought stress in forests across broad climatic and compositional gradients. Ecosphere
- Kabrick, John M.; Clark, Kenneth L.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Dey, Daniel C.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; MacLean, David A.; Raymond, Patricia; Waskiewicz, Justin D. 2017. Managing hardwood-softwood mixtures for future forests in eastern North America: assessing suitability to projected climate change. Journal of Forestry
- Kern, Christel C.; Schoelch, Manfred; Crocker, Paul; Fellman, Dean; Marsh, Angela; Mausel, Dave; Pecore, Marshall; Phillippi, Joseph; Waukau, Ronald; Waupochick, Anthony. 2017. Group opening outcomes, sustainable forest management, and the Menominee Nation lands. Journal of Forestry
- Roberts, Margaret W.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Kern, Christel C.; Palik, Brian J. 2017. Effects of variable retention harvesting on natural tree regeneration in Pinus resinosa (red pine) forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 385: 104-115.
- Wilcox, Kevin R.; Tredennick, Andrew T.; Koerner, Sally E.; Grman, Emily; Hallett, Lauren M.; Avolio, Meghan L.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Houseman, Gregory R.; Isbell, Forest; Johnson, David Samuel; Alatalo, Juha M.; Baldwin, Andrew H.; Bork, Edward W.; Boughton, Elizabeth H.; Bowman, William D.; Britton, Andrea J.; Cahill, James F.; Collins, Scott L.; Du, Guozhen; Eskelinen, Anu; Gough, Laura; Jentsch, Anke; Kern, Christel; Klanderud, Kari; Knapp, Alan K.; Kreyling, Juergen; Luo, Yiqi; McLaren, Jennie R.; Megonigal, Patrick; Onipchenko, Vladimir; Prevéy, Janet; Price, Jodi N.; Robinson, Clare H.; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Smith, Melinda D.; Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A.; Souza, Lara; Tilman, David; White, Shannon R.; Xu, Zhuwen; Yahdjian, Laura; Yu, Qiang; Zhang, Pengfei; Zhang, Yunhai; Gurevitch, Jessica. 2017. Asynchrony among local communities stabilises ecosystem function of metacommunities. Ecology Letters. 20(12): 1534-1545.
- Young, Brian D.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Kern, Christel C.; Kastendick, Douglas N.; Palik, Brian J. 2017. Seven decades of change in forest structure and composition in Pinus resinosa forests in northern Minnesota, USA: Comparing managed and unmanaged conditions. Forest Ecology and Management
- Baker, Susan C.; Halpern, Charles B.; Wardlaw, Timothy J.; Kern, Christel; Edgar, Graham J.; Thomson, Russell J.; Bigley, Richard E.; Franklin, Jerry F.; Gandhi, Kamal J. K.; Gustafsson, Lena; Johnson, Samuel; Palik, Brian J.; Spies, Thomas A.; Steel, E. Ashley; Weslien, Jan; Strengbom, Joachim. 2016. A cross-continental comparison of plant and beetle responses to retention of forest patches during timber harvest. Ecological Applications
- Roberts, Margaret W.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Kern, Christel C.; Palik, Brian J.; Marini, Lorenzo. 2016. Long-term impacts of variable retention harvesting on ground-layer plant communities in Pinus resinosa forests. Journal of Applied Ecology. 53(4): 1106-1116.
- Scherer, Sawyer S.; D'Amato, Anthony W.; Kern, Christel C.; Palik, Brian J.; Russell, Matthew B. 2016. Long-term impacts of prescribed fire on stand structure, growth, mortality, and individual tree vigor in Pinus resinosa forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 368: 7-16.
- Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C. 2015. Early northern hardwood silvicultural research at the Dukes Experimental Forest, Michigan. Journal of Forestry. 113(2): 258-261.
- Kern, Christel C.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Stout, Susan L. 2015. Bridging the Gender Gap: The demographics of scientists in the USDA Forest Service and academia. BioScience. 65: 1165-1172.
- Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C. 2013. The remarkable story of the partial cutting study at the Dukes Experimental Forest. In: Camp, Ann E.; Irland, Lloyd C.; Carroll, Charles J.W. Long-term silvicultural and ecological studies. Results for science and management. Vol. 2. GISF Res. Pap. 013. New Haven, CT: Yale University, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry: 116-125.
- Kenefic, Laura S.; Kern, Christel C.; Brissette, John; Russell, Matthew; Irland, Lloyd; Weiskittel, Aaron; Berven, Kate. 2013. Suggestions for maintaining records for long-term field studies. A supplement to papers by Berven et al. and Kenefic and Kern (this volume). In: Camp, Ann E.; Irland, Lloyd C.; Carroll, Charles J.W. Long-term silvicultural and ecological studies. Results for science and management. Vol. 2. GISF Res. Pap. 013. New Haven, CT: Yale University, Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry: 126-133.
- Kern, Christel C. 2012. Values and limitations of applied science in the real world [book review]. Journal of Forestry. 110(5): 287.
- Ostry, M.E.; Moore, M.J.; Kern, C.C.; Venette, R.C.; Palik, B.J. 2012. Multiple diseases impact survival of pine species planted in red spine stands harvested in spatially variable retention patterns. Forest Ecology and Management. 286: 66-72.
- D'Amato, Anthony W.; Palik, Brian J.; Kern, Christel C. 2010. Growth, yield, and structure of extended rotation Pinus resinosa stands in Minnesota, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40: 1000-1010.
- Kern, Cristel C.; Palik, Brian J.; Strong, Terry F. 2006. Ground-layer plant community responses to even-age and uneven-age silvicultural treatments in Wisconsin northern hardwood forests. Forest Ecology and Management. 230: 162-170.
- Lugo, Ariel D.; Swanson, Frederick J.; González, Olga Ramos; Adams, Mary Beth; Palik, Brian; Thill, Ronald E.; Brockway, Dale G.; Kern, Christel; Woodsmith, Richard; Musselman, Robert. 2006. Long-term research at the USDA Forest Service's experimental forests and ranges.. BioScience. 56(1): 39-48
- Palik, Brian J.; Batzer, Darold P.; Kern, Christel. 2005. Upland Forest Linkages to Seasonal Wetlands: Litter Flux, Processing, and Food Quality. Ecosystems 8:1-11
- Palik, Brian J.; Kern, Christel C.; Mitchell, Robert; Pecot, Stephen. 2005. Using spatially variable overstory retention to restore structural and compositional complexity in pine ecosystems. In: Peterson, Charles E.; Maguire, Douglas A., eds. Balancing Ecosystem Values: Innovative Experiments for sustainable Forestry: Proceedings of a Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-635.Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 285-290
- Coleman, Mark D.; Kern, Christel C. 2004. Carbon allocation and nitrogen acquisition in a developing Populus deltoides plantation. Tree Physiology 24:1347-1357
- Coleman, Mark D.; Kern, Christel C. 2004. Carbon allocation and nitrogen acquisition in a developing Populus deltoides plantation. Tree Physiology 24, 1347-1357
- Kern, Christel C.; Friend, Alexander L.; Johnson, Jane M.; Coleman, Mark D. 2004. Fine root dynamics in a developing Populus deltoides plantation. Tree Physiology. Volume 24, 2004. pp. 651-660.
- Kern, Christel C.; Johnson, Jane M.-F.; Coleman, Mark D. 2004. Fine root dynamics in a developing Populus deltoides plantation. Tree Physiology 24: 651-660
- Harrington, Constance A.; Kern, Christel C. 2002. Will Garry oak respond to release from overtopping conifers. In: Burton, Philip J. ed., Proceedings: Garry oak ecosystem restoration: Progress and prognosis. Proceedings of the third annual meeting of the British Columbia Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 2002 April 27-28; Victoria, BC. Victoria BC: University of Victoria: 39-46.
National Research Highlights
The Menominee Nation uses available science, local field testing, and professional experience to formulate an adaptive approach within their way of life and principle to maintain natural resources for generations to come. Recently, a Forest Service scientist helped tribal foresters monitor sustainability of their common forestry practices. The collaboration has been a success due to the group’s diverse backgrounds as researchers and managers, tribal member and non-members, generations old and young, and nations near and far.
Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration alters forest stand development, so do management guidelines need revision?
A decade ago, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was at the heart of the Aspen Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment Experiment. Forest Service researchers in Rhinelander, Wisc., wanted to know if these increases affected forest growth. What they discovered raises the possibility that principles of stand development and size-density relationships are already obsolete.
Hardwood-Softwood Mixtures for Future Forests in Eastern North America: Assessing Suitability to Projected Climate Change
Despite growing interest in management strategies for climate change adaptation, there are few methods for assessing the ability of stands to endure or adapt to projected future climates. Forest Service scientists developed a means for assigning climate “compatibility” and “adaptability” scores to stands for assessing the suitability of tree species for projected climate scenarios. They used these scores to determine if mixed hardwood-softwood stands or “mixedwoods” were better suited to projected future climates than pure hardwood or pure softwood stands.